Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Questions have you asked lately?

Making good choices depends heavily on asking good questions. John's book, QBQ! The Question behind the Question, invites us to follow three simple rules (p. 18).
1. Begin our questions with "What" or "How".
2. Contain an "I" in place of they, them, we, or you.
3. Focus on action.

Do you have some "Why" askers? If so think about the tone of those "why" questions. John states that these often symbolize a victim attitude and are not productive. Keep in mind these are not the why questions we use to problem solve or sell products; he is referring to those that represent a "poor me" attitude.

His book has a unique twist on the Serenity Prayer.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know... it's me!" (p. 79).

The book has some great stories. I like the waiter's story the best of all and readers will likely enjoy the Home Depot story. Each story involves people asking the right questions or handling a difficult situation. Chapter 29 speaks to taking action which may involve risks as the alternative to inaction. The following occurs when a person takes action: (1) learning and growth even if mistakes are made, (2) leads toward solutions, (3) requires courage, (4) builds confidence. These are all positive characteristics a person gains from taking action even in difficult times. He goes on to mention that inaction brings about stagnation, atrophy, a holding on to the past, fear, and doubt. How many of you have seen this in organizations, workplaces, and communities?

I'll finish with the spirit of QBQ which is personal accountability explained in three short statements (p.107).
  • No more victim thinking, procrastinating, or blaming.
  • I can only change me.
  • Take action!
We will be piloting a QBQ program at our school this year under the leadership of an outstanding teacher in our community. Not only will students benefit but teachers and administrators as well. Embracing personal accountability as a community will lead to an aspiring organization filled with people ready to problem solve, thrive in teams, breakdown barriers, and adapt to change!

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